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The Boy in the Basket
Standing on the beach, still soaked and yet unaffected by the cold, Mako allowed his eyes to scan the shore, searching for the child his trusted friend spoke of.
"Izal!" Mako calls out into the night.
The feathered animal's reply was short and completely inaudible for the moment the avian let loose its cry, thunder had roared, letting out a deafening boom.
"Izal!" Mako calls out again, this time even louder.
Once again Izal made his cry, but unlike the last time , Mako was able to hear him, so he held out his left arm, keeping it nice and steady before pursing his lips together once more and whistled.
Flying 30 metres above Mako, Izal heard the whistle and dipped it's head before plummeting to the beach below. Even in the dark, Izal had perfect vision, enabling him to see everything, especially Mako. Izal could see the extended arm and understood its intention, Mako required the raven to land on his arm, so exerting caution, the raven flew gracefully and landed ever so carefully on Mako's arm. In fact he was so careful in his landing that not even one of his talons had pierced Mako's skin.
"You called for me Master?" Once again, Izal's eyes are green as he speaks telepathically.
"Yes I did. You spoke of a boy." As he talks, Mako stares into the eyes of the animal sitting comfortably on his arm.
"That I did."
"Take me to him!" Mako commands.
Following his master's command, Izal took flight once more, but with the same care he used only moments ago, being ever so careful as to not part flesh from bone as he left Mako's arm.
Now flapping his wings and heading in a north easterly direction, Izal was not flying at his full speed, but was flying quick enough to move at a reasonable pace , but slow enough for Mako to still see him in the dark and be able to follow.
Mako chased after Izal, the sand crunched beneath his feet as he ran across the sandy part of the beach before he leaped up onto the nearest boulder. Due to all the rainfall, the surface of the rock was very slippery, but Mako did not slip, nor did he slide. Instead he maintained perfect footing before he leaped from his current rock and landed on another.
Mako continued to jump from rock to rock, each time his feet would make contact with the hard jagged surface, along with the sound of squelching, but he continued on, leaping from boulder to boulder as he voyaged onwards, maintaining his pursuit of following his friend.
"Getting slower Master?" The mocking words had come from Izal, he's thoughts telepathically drifting from his mind and into Mako's.
"Who are you calling slow?" Mako replies before he urges himself on, willing his body to move much faster, which it did.
Mako was really running now, he was moving twice as fast and leaping twice as far. This was another skill of a True Watcher, the ability to summon great strength, speed and stamina when a Watcher needed it most, in the middle of a battle when they are at their weakest, or for when they were very tired and Mako was feeling exceptionally tired, very tired and yet, very alive.
As he ran and leaped repeatedly, his breathing was slow and controlled, in through his nose and out through his mouth, but inside his chest that was a different story. His heart was beating faster than Mako was moving, it was pulsating at a rate of 8 beats per second, so fast and so hard that Mako felt like it was going to blow up, but Mako knew better.
"Do you see the boy yet?" Mako whispers, he knew full well that no matter how loud or how silent he spoke then, he knew that Izal would hear him regardless because at that moment, Mako could feel Izal's presence in his mind.
No words this time, just a sound, but for Mako one sound was more than enough. The gentle call was worth 100 words uttered in a single second. Mako understood its message loud and clear, Izal was with the boy at that very moment.
As he leaped from one last rock, he landed back on the stony beach, 10 metres in front of him he could just make out Izal's feathery body as it stood besides a basket that was made out of a material that was not Nogmal wood, but was actually made out of wicker.
Mako walked slowly but surely over towards his friend and the basket made of a foreign material. Everything wooden in Mares was made out the Nogmal wood and yet, even from a distance Mako could tell that the basket was made out of a material that was not found or used in Mares and that could mean only one thing, the basket was from a whole other Realm. The basket and its occupant had travelled a long way to arrive at Iris.
As Mako walked up to the basket, now much closer he could easily see inside the wicker object. Sleeping blissfully, snuggled up in a wool blanket, lay a peaceful baby, he wasn't chubby like most babies, but was in actual fact quite slim due to not eating in quite some time. His skin was pale and due to his sleeping state, his eyelids were closed so Mako was unable to determine the boy's eye colour, but he could see bright blonde ringlets of hair.
Turning to his feathered friend, Mako had something to say and Izal knew he wished to talk.
"What is is?" Izal asks.
"The basket, it's made from..." Mako has no time to finish his question as Izal chooses to interrupt him.
"Wicker." Izal answers.
"He's travelled a long way to get here." Mako comments.
"Look in the basket." Izal instructs.
Mako does as he is commanded and takes a closer look in the basket, inside it, hidden almost completely is a thin, long glass bottle, similar in shape to a bottle of wine. Inside the bottle was a single piece of parchment.
Very carefully, Mako reaches in and pulls out the glass made bottle and holds it in his hands before he removes the cork with a loud pop.
Sticking a single finger into the opening of the glass bottle, he turns the container round and is successful in getting the piece of parchment out.
"What is it?" Izal asks as he watches Mako unroll the document and study it.
"What does it say?"
"Just a second." Mako gazes intently at the document, the writing on it wasn't written in the Mari language, the recognised language of the Mares Realm. Instead it was written in Algean, a language that Mako had not read or heard spoken in quite a while. He needed a moment to remember his knowledge of this other language before he could translate it.
With knowledge of old coming back to him, Mako was able to translate the letter with ease and read it out loud so Izal could hear.
"To Whoever finds me,
My name is Zach, I was born in the Month of Easter, nearly two full moons ago and I have travelled far and wide. I am a child of the Algean Realm, I hail from the village of Mantos on Mantos Island.
As is the custom, I am the first born child in my family and so, as of that, my parents obeyed the code in the hopes that I'll reach the lands of the Guarded ones and learn their ways."